One of my favorite movies all time, and I think one of the best movies ever to grace the big screen is Top Gun. This movie has everything. Screaming fighter jets, cool motorcycles, a love story, even the trials of death. In the midst of the movie the young and arrogant Tom Cruise is making some bold claims about his ability and doing some things outside the bounds of Navy protocol. This causes his superior to shout at him, "Your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!"
I think those words apply to Peter here in Mark 14. Jesus has just been anointed by the woman, he has just shared the Last Supper, and he is letting the disciples know that one of them will betray him. Peter steps to the plate first, as is Peter's tendency, and declares even if it means death he will not deny Christ. What a bold claim. I personally like the claim. Peter is putting it our there, and staking his claim with Jesus. Now if we have read the story before we know how it goes, but I love the devotion Peter shows. Jesus response is not at all what I expected. Instead of complementing Peter on his zeal and commitment, Jesus informs Peter that he will deny Jesus this very night.
How often is it that we make claims about how we are going to relate to God, only to come up short or different. There are times when I am thankful my claims were not realized because they were made with human passion and eyes. There are plenty of times however when I weep because of how short I fall of the passion God has placed within me. I tend to be a person of bold claims, and I am trying to be a person who sees those claims through.
What happens when we come up short? Usually feelings of failure, anger, disappointment and depression if we stay at that place too long. We need to see the life of Peter through. Peter is the one who God uses to initiate the church in Acts 2. Peter recovers. Our stumbles and short-comings, are not fatal. In spite of bold claims left unfulfilled, we can overcome, not by our strength, but by the One who calls us.